How Climate Change Became a Security Emergency: An Interview with Brittany Meché

September 1, 2022

How has climate change become a security issue? Geographer Brittany Meché argues that contemporary anxieties about climate change refugees rearticulate colonial power through international security. Through interviews with security and development experts, her research reveals how the so-called “pragmatic solutions” to climate change migration exacerbate climate change injustice. 

For this interview, Julia Sizek, Matrix’s Content Curator, asked Meché about her forthcoming article in New Geographies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, which considers how expert explanations of climate migration rework the afterlives of empire in the West African Sahel, an area bordering the southern edge of the Sahara, stretching from Senegal and Mauritania in the West to Chad in the East.

Meché is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Affiliated Faculty in Science and Technology Studies at Williams College. She earned her PhD in Geography from UC Berkeley. Her work has appeared in Antipode, AcmeSociety and Space, and in the edited volume A Research Agenda for Military Geographies.Meché is currently completing a book manuscript, Sustainable Empire, about transnational security regimes, environmental knowledge, and the afterlives of empire in the West African Sahel.

UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix